WDFN is a sports-talk radio station in the Detroit, Michigan, market. It broadcasts in the AM radio band at 1130 kHz. WDFN is owned by Clear Channel Communications, and is the flagship station for the Detroit Pistons.
AM 1130 has been on the air since December 17, 1939 and bore the WCAR calls from its inception until 1979. WCAR was originally licensed to the Detroit suburb of Pontiac, Michigan. For many years the station aired a middle-of-the-road music format best known for its ownership by the quirky Hy Levinson, who insisted that WCAR air only "good music" and refused to allow anything even remotely resembling rock and roll on his station's playlist. Levinson would eventually relax his anti-rock stance when it became evident that the "good music" wasn't making him enough money.
During the 1970s, WCAR went through a multitude of failed formats, including Top 40, all-news (using the NBC "News and Information" service), progressive rock, and adult contemporary. As a Top 40 station ("Giant 1130") from about 1972 to 1975, WCAR's personalities included Steve Hunter, formerly of crosstown competitor CKLW and then Cleveland's WIXY. Hunter recalls on the CKLW tribute Website (http://www.thebig8.net) that although WCAR sounded good, its locally based owner didn't have the money needed to sustain cash giveaways and other prizes, and the format was changed just before a new ratings book came in showing that the station was finally starting to make some upward progress.
In 1978, WCAR changed its format to country and adopted the calls WCXI ("Country 11"; the "C" stood for Country, and "XI" is "11" in Roman numerals) the following March. During the early and mid-1980s, WCXI also had an FM sister, WCXI-FM 92.3, airing a separate country format, creating a two-pronged competition with WWWW-FM 106.7 ("W4 Country"). WCXI-AM/FM were owned at the time by Fritz Broadcasting. FM 92.3 changed its calls to WNTM ("92Music") and its format to Adult Contemporary in 1986 (it is still co-owned with AM 1130 under the Clear Channel umbrella as urban adult contemporary WMXD). AM 1130 continued with the WCXI calls until 1992, when, now owned by Shamrock Broadcasting and co-owned with its country competitor WWWW, the station became WWWW-AM, staying with country music but now chiefly simulcasting "W4" FM.
WWWW-AM changed its calls to WDFN in May 1994, and on July 11 of that year, the "Fan" sports-talk format was born, and has continued ever since. WDFN now competes with CBS Radio's WXYT 1270 AM for Detroit's sports-talk audience. But WDFN's dominanace in the ratings has forced WXYT to cut back on their local programming. WDFN has the most dominant show in Detroit sports radio with the afternoon pairing of Stoney & Wojo.
Unlike many other sports stations across the country, which choose to air their sports updates three times every hour, WDFN airs its sports updates at the top and bottom of each hour.
The WCAR call signs are now in use at AM 1090 in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Michigan, which airs a Catholic religious format. AM 1160 in Fenton, Michigan now uses the WCXI calls, playing classic country music.
WDFN's afternoon program, Stoney and Wojo, conducts tournaments similar to the NCAA Tournament, called Stoney and Wojo Invitationals, several times each year. These tournaments have featured items such as body parts, soft drinks, even people with the first name of Mike. To determine the result, listeners call in.
On Friday July 13, 2007 Stoney and Wojo were the substitute hosts on the largely syndicated "Jim Rome Show" (for the vacationing Jim Rome).
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